Baby crying can be disconcerting for new parents and it's not always easy to know how to react, especially when the little one seems inconsolable during the night. Florence Pinon, sleep specialist, helps us see things more clearly.
' Let him cry, it will make his lungs! ', ' Don't hug him if he cries, you'll give him bad habits “, so many recommendations and beliefs which we now know are unfounded.” Crying is not a real communication tool for babies, but rather a means of expressing emotions “, explains Florence Pinon. ' Baby cries when he is hungry, cold, when he needs to be changed or asks for the proximity of his parents. He cries to express a need ', she adds. A crying baby , so this is absolutely normal! And you also have to accept that some people cry more than others.
On this question, the specialist is formal. ' Until the age of three months, we do not let babies cry on purpose. ', she explains. Florence Pinon recalls, however, that letting baby cry to go to the toilet, take a shower or breathe a little is obviously very different. It has nothing to do with the fact of let a toddler cry at night telling himself that he will thus understand that he must sleep. ' Between 0 and 3 months, we are in what is called the fourth trimester of pregnancy. . This is a transition period during which baby has a great need to be glued to his parents. At this age, a baby who cries at night also calls this need for physical closeness. The attachment system is set up “, details Florence Pinon.
Also remember that we all wake up at night, even if it's just micro-waking up! Beyond the need for food, physiological, there is also a radar that starts in babies who cry because they want to make sure that their parents are there. ' It is necessary that the parents intervene to reassure their child, without however intervening at the slightest squeak of the child “, explains the sleep consultant.
Nighttime crying and sleep difficulties often depend on the course of the day or on falling asleep. They often have two main causes. ' You have to make sure you're good in terms of emotional security: not too many demands on the child, different people who take care of him. You also have to make sure that you regularly spend time when you are 100% with him.' , adds Florence Pinon. There is also a notion of habit: the child is encouraged to fall asleep in bed, instead of arms. Anxiety crying requires daytime work!
From 3 months, the situation changes slightly. ' Crying becomes more tolerable. A baby who does not hurt anywhere, is cool, awake, we will be able to accompany him to fall asleep independently “, explains the specialist. As the latter repeats, “ tears accompanied, that's ok '!. We don't let the baby cry for hours, but we accompany him, we give him a nap on the head, we reassure him. We try again and again. But be careful not to ask too much! ' The relentlessness begins when the parent's resources are exhausted. You have to know when to stop, do what works and try again the next day .”, she observes. The latter calls the three pillars that are consistency, stability and predictability. If we ask the baby to change bearings, we must understand him but also listen to what he is telling us. This sometimes takes several days or even several weeks. The most complicated thing is to find the right balance between the needs of the child and those of the parents, but also to choose the right moment and the right method.
The first thing is to make baby fall asleep in bed ! Imagine baby falling asleep in parent's arms and waking up somewhere else. His concern is legitimate and he will therefore claim the arms, which is normal. 'Either we accept the fact of having to rock him to help him go back to sleep, or we put things in place to help him fall asleep on his own' , explains the specialist.
Sometimes a child cries at night because he is too tired, it is therefore necessary to ensure that the amount of sleep during the day is good, that he takes several naps. ' Skipping baby a nap thinking he'll sleep better at night is miscalculation.' recalls Florence Pinon.
' It is necessary to establish a ritual of falling asleep, the same every day, from 15 to 20 minutes. The ideal is that both parents are present, because the second parent must be able to manage in the absence of the other', she adds. It should be a time of family reunion. It is also important to have little moments with baby , a gentle 10/15 minute bubble of calm to recharge baby's emotional reservoir. Only then can you start working on habits. ' If there really is an environmental problem, it is very often linked to an imbalance in emotional security. “, recalls Florence Pinon.
The environment must be conducive to falling asleep with a well-defined sleeping space , a tidy room, not too much decoration. The specialist also recommends installing the bed so that the child can see a door or window.
' Being a parent is hard! And while it's important to understand a child's development and put their needs at the centre, the child shouldn't be at the centre. We must find a balance that suits everyone, and not refer to the child the example of sacrificial parents ', analyzes Florence Pinon. You have to support your child, but not to the detriment of your own mental health. ' An exhausted parent, without resources, can no longer accompany his child. It is therefore important to also know how to pass the baton, to be absent for a few hours to better return ', she adds. In some families, nocturnal awakenings and cries are accepted and everyone finds their place. ' But it is important to be clear with this. Parents also have the right to say that they can't take it anymore, a mom has the right to say that the breastfeeding on demand at night, she can't take it anymore. 'From the moment there is an imbalance, there needs to be a change “, concludes the specialist.Thanks to Florence Pinon, sleep specialist. calm babySource journaldesfemmes.fr